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This month, the “Take Charge of Your Health Today” page focuses on bullying. Erricka Hager, health advocate at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, and Esther L. Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, discussed this critically important topic.

EB: I’m so pleased that we are finally addressing the issue of bullying, Erricka. I know this topic resonates with you because you’re raising a young family. Although the concept of bullying isn’t old, it has evolved somewhat with the creation of the Internet and social media.

Erricka Hager

EH: Yes, Ms. Bush. My son is getting close to the age when he will begin to interact with his peers on social media. I’m in a unique position because social media has evolved during my adult years. However, I’m still somewhat out of touch with the vast number of available platforms and apps. This area of technology is constantly changing. It’s hard for anyone to stay up-to-date. Many social media platforms are successful because of adolescents.

EB: I agree, Erricka. I admit I’m unfamiliar with many of these new apps myself. With so many people being connected via social media, the face of bullying is changing. Sometimes you may not even know whose “face” is really behind a screen.

EH: That’s true. It can be difficult for parents to monitor their children’s online activities. Another part of this is through TV. Parents and caregivers like me are being exposed to new forms of bullying, as seen in the series 13 Reasons Why, and are having difficult conversations with the young people in our lives. We’re seeking resources to educate them and ourselves about bullying.

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